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  • Hello to everyone i had an abnormal smear test,

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    Old 06-12-2009, 07:45 PM   #1
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    Unhappy Hello to everyone i had an abnormal smear test,

    and a blood test which followed,showed the ca 125 as 103.

    One year ago after my daughter was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and had a full hysterectomy, and is doing well thank fully.

    Any way after telling my GP about my daughter, he sent me for a ca 125
    blood test which came back ca 46,he thought it was up a bit, so he sent me for an internal ultrasound which showed a 5mm cyst on one of my ovaries.

    This same ultrasound was repeated 6 months later with no change of the cyst.
    After this recent smear and blood test i had these last 2 weeks,i have to
    now have another ultrasound,and then see a gynacologist.

    I am 62 years old,and went through menopause 13 years ago.

    My husband was diagnosed with stomach cancer last year in april,and he passed away in december.

    My brother also died that same year in september suddenly,and that same year was when our daughter was diagnosed in april with the ovarian cancer.

    I am worried, as my husband and i, have always helped each other through bad times,and dont know how i am going to manage if i have to have an operation.
    I have friends who would probably help me,but its not the same anymore.
    Hugs from mearcat.

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    Old 06-12-2009, 11:40 PM   #2
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    Re: Hello to everyone i had an abnormal smear test,

    I am new to this site, just waiting test results...and like you very scared. I wish that I could give you advice based on the information you've provided, but can"t. Fortunately the ladies on this site are very knowledgeable. I'm certain someone will give you very helpful and supportive feedback soon.
    As far as losing your husband so recently and facing a possible health crisis: You have every reason to panic. Your right hand man is not there anymore. Everything you know is different! However, your family can do a good job of filling in the gaps and making it happen! My Mother faced a major health crisis a year after my father passed. She is convinced (to this day) that the stress of his death created the advancement of her condition. When my Mother was ill, it provided me the opportunity to nurse her to health, through months and months of hell. We're talking diaper changing, etc. It was hard, but an honor to take care of her. She did the same for me...just many years before. In a strange way, it brought us closer than ever and helped heal the wounds of losing our favorite man. My Mom was certain she could not survive without her partner of 43 years, but she did. She came out on the other side, with a daughter she had never been so close to and a group of random people/friends that she had never expected to be her network of love and support. You will be surprised by who will rise to the occasion and be your rock when you need them. I am sorry you have suffered so much loss in such a short time. You've had no time to recover between each crisis. I am sending you a big hug and the best wishes for good an amazing prognosis. Feel free to write if you need to chat, complain or share anything.

    Old 06-13-2009, 08:24 AM   #3
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    Re: Hello to everyone i had an abnormal smear test,

    Hello Mearcat,

    I am ever so sorry to hear about what you have been through. You must be one tough lady to have lived through all of this. However, after taking care of everyone else, it is now time to take care of yourself. This means that you will need to reach out to family members and get them to support you. We all go through periods when we need the help of others .. ALL OF US.

    I am sure that your husband and brother would both have wanted you to be well taken care of at this time so don't be afraid to be greedy and ask for what you need. You will be surprised at how certain (often surprising) people will be only too glad to step up and offer their support. Be prepared, however, for others who do not respond as there are people who simply cannot handle situations such as this. These people have a very unhealthy vision of the human condition and think that by supporting others who are going through a health crisis, they will somehow become sick themselves. I found this to be true and it is at this time that you will find out who your true friends really are.

    As for your test results, the CA-125 is of concern and rather than going to a gynecologist, I think you should get a referral to a gynecological oncologist. I absolutely do not wish to scare you by any means but if your CA-125 has shown an increase, you are over the age of 60 AND your daughter was diagnosed with ovarian cancer then a gynecological oncologist is where your doctor should be referring you.

    The ovarian cyst may or may not have anything to do with the matter. Menopausal women do get cysts on their ovaries and the fact that yours has not changed is a good sign. However, a high CA-125 is not just a cancer antigen for ovarian cancer but also for peritoneal cancer, a cancer of the abdominal lining. This cancer behaves exactly like ovarian cancer and would require the same treatment. The good news is that you don't seem to have any physical symptoms of the disease so if by some slim chance (keep in mind that both ovarian and peritoneal cancers are rare) you do have it, it must be in its early stages. This is why it is very important to see a gynecological oncologist immediately, rather than go through a gynecologist and waste more time.

    You need to understand that the CA-125 is not the most accurate blood test and sometimes it can show high when there is no cancer present and show normal when stage 1 cancer is present. In addition, an ovarian cyst in a post menopausal woman is really not unusual and up to 20% of menopausal women have ovarian cysts. However, the CA-125 test is a more accurate test in post-menopausal women than in pre-menopausal women and a normal reading is anything under 35. In addition, your daughter was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and this, in addition to your age, increases your own risk of getting the disease. Have you spoken to your daughter about your situation. If she is over her own hurdle, then she is the best person to go to for support. Get her to take you to her gynecological oncologist .. in other words, use this connection to your own advantage. Wouldn't it be nice if at least some good can come out of daughter's prior misfortune ? These specialists are much better equipped to handle situations such as yours and they can consult you much better than a gynecologist can.

    A 60 year old friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer of the peritoneal lining last year. She had absolutely horrible physical symptoms and when they performed an ultrasound, her ovaries were normal. It was her CA-125 that alerted them to her condition and when they did a PET scan they found the cancer. It was diagnosed at stage 3-4 but despite this, she is doing well today and her CA-125 is down to 8. In her case, the CA-125 was an accurate test of her condition. In some other people, it is not. My sister in law was diagnosed with a 12 cm ovarian cyst with septations when she was in her 30's. She also had an elevated CA-125. When they removed her cyst it was found to be benign. In my own case, I had a 9 cm cyst on my left ovary and I watched it for over a year and a half, all the while having the CA-125 test done (which remained at around 6 or 7). As the cyst was slowly showing growth, my surgeon removed it with a laparoscopy (keyhole surgery) this past April.

    Ovarian cancer is one of the only cancers that can be completely cured with surgery, if caught early enough. This is because it most often remains in the gynecological organs and removal of these solves the problem. I am not saying that you have cancer and you may very well not have it but since your health profile (age and heredity) and your recent test results put you at an increased risk, go and rule it out as soon as possible by a gynecological oncologist, someone who specializes in this field.

    I hope you come back to us with good news very soon. Take care of yourself and be greedy .. it is time to think about your own health now so don't be afraid. You are strong and you will manage to get through this. And by the way, your husband is still with you, whether you realize it or not. We carry our loved ones with us all of the time even if they are not physically with us. They are a part of who we are and their strong presence in our lives have influenced us and turned us into the people we are today. I firmly believe this to be true. Someone who has so obviously influenced you in such a profound way over so many years will always be a part of you and this will give you strength. If you don't believe me, just imagine what you would have been like if you had never met him.

    Feel free to come back if you wish to talk or vent or whatever. There are many ladies on these boards with experience and information that can help and perhaps someone will join this thread who has more information for you.

    Take good care of yourself.


    Old 06-13-2009, 10:38 AM   #4
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    Re: Hello to everyone i had an abnormal smear test,

    ((((Hugs mearcat))))) I am so sorry you have had to deal with such losses and struggles!

    The ladies here have given you so much good information that I don't have a lot to add.

    I would like to add to the choir saying to go to a gyn/oncologist. A Gyn/onc is specially trained to know exactly what types of tests to run, what to look for (small and large details), and various routes of treatment. You want an expert on your side.

    I also agree with the others to reach out to your daughter and start some discussions so you can learn from her experience. I'm sure she'll have a lot of good advice, questions to ask, things to do/don't do.

    And again, you have spent your life time taking care of others. Let others take care of you. This was one of the most difficult things I learned during my cancer diagnosis and recovery. Let people help. They are offering because they care. One day I realized that when I said "no" to someone's offer of help, love, assistance I was shutting them out and not letting them love me. I felt I was saying no because I loved them and didn't want them to go to the effort, but in reality, letting them help lets them IN.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers. Let us know how you are doing.

    When is your next appointment?

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